Neuropeptide research

About our research

We work at the interface of chemistry and biology, with a strong passion for translational research. Our interests lie in neuropeptides and the exploration of nature's diversity to develop advanced molecular probes, diagnostics and therapeutics. We use chemistry, molecular biology, and pharmacology to study the interactions of these highly potent and selective molecules with human physiology, with therapeutic applications in gastrointestinal disorders, neuropathic pain, autism, breast cancer and neurodegenerative disorders.

Research areas

  • Neuropeptide research
  • Chemical biology - molecular probes to study health and disease
  • Medicinal chemistry
  • Peptide and protein synthesis
  • Breast cancer
  • Gastrointestinal disorders

Awards

  • 2018: EFMC Prize for Young Medicinal Chemist in Academia, European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry, EU
  • 2017: ERC Starting Grant, EU 2016: Miklos Bodanszky Award for peptide-based drug research, European Peptide Society, EU
  • 2016: IMB Industry Fellow Award, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, AUS
  • 2014: Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award, AUS
  • 2013: Marie Curie Beatriu de Pinos Fellowship, ESP
  • 2010: Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship
  • 2009: Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research Higher Degree Thesis, AUS
  • 2009: Best PhD Thesis Award from 2008 and 2009 from the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, AUS

Dr Markus Muttenthaler

Dr Markus Muttenthaler

Group Leader, Neuropeptide Research

  +61 7 334 62985  
  m.muttenthaler@imb.uq.edu.au
  IMB Researcher Profile
  Google Scholar
  www.neuropeptidelab.com 
   www.linkedin.com/in/muttenthaler

Publications


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Featured Publications

Neuropeptide Research

Muttenthaler M*, Asa A, Vetter I, Menon R, Busnelli M, Ragnarsoon L, Bergmary C, Arrowsmith S, Deuis, JR, Chiu HS, Palpant NJ, O'Brien M, Smith TJ, Wray S, Neumann ID, Gruber CW, Lewis RJ, Alewood PF.Subtle modifications to oxytocin produce ligands that retain potency and improved selectivity across species.  Science Signaling, 2017; 10:508. Covered by major international news outlets  (IF=7.4, Top 10% of Category)

Di Giglio M, Muttenthaler M , Harpsøe K, Liutkeviciute Z, Keov P, Eder T, Rattei T, Arrowsmith S, Wray S, Marek A, Elbert T, Alewood PF, Gloriam DE, Gruber CW. Development of a human vasopressin V1a-receptor antagonist from an evolutionary-related insect neuropeptide. Scientific Reports , 2017; 7:41002. (IF=5.2, Top 5% of Category)​

Busnelli M, Kleinau G, Muttenthaler M, Stoev S, Manning M, Bibic L, Howell LA, McCormick PJ, Di Lascio S, Braida D, Sala M, Rovati GE, Bellini T, Chini B. Design and characterization of superpotent bivalent ligands targeting oxytocin receptor dimers via a channel-like structure. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2016; 1;59(15):7152-66. Chosen for ACS Editors' Choice  (IF=5.1, Top 5% of Category)​

Arranz-Gibert P, Guixer B, Malakoutikhah M, Muttenthaler M, Guzmán F, Teixidó M, Giralt E. Lipid bilayer crossing- the gate of symmetry. Water-soluble phenylproline-based blood-brain barrier-shuttles. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2015; 114(11):5815-47. (IF=12.1, Top 5% of Category)

​Dantas de Araujo, Mobli M, Castro J, Harrington AM, Vetter I, Dekan Z, Muttenthaler M, Wan J, Lewis RJ, King, GF, Brierley SM, Alewood PF. Synthesis, structure and analgesic properties of selenoether oxytocin analogues in a mouse model of chronic abdominal pain. Nature Communications, 2014; 5:3165. (IF=10.0, Top 5% of Category)​

Gruber CW, Koehbach J, Muttenthaler M. Exploring bioactive peptides from natural sources for oxytocin and vasopressin drug discovery. Future Medicinal Chemistry, 2012; 4(14):1791-8. (IF=3.2, Top 25% of Category)​

Gruber CW, Muttenthaler M. Discovery of defense- and neuropeptides in social ants by genome-mining. PloS One, 2012;7: e32559. (IF=4.2, Top 15% of Category)​

Gruber CW, Muttenthaler M, Freissmuth M. Ligand-based peptide design and combinatorial peptide libraries to target G protein-coupled receptors. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 2010; 16: 3071-3088. (IF=3.7, Top 25% of Category)

Venom Drug Discovery

Akondi KB*, Muttenthaler M*, Dutertre S, Kaas Q, Craik DJ, Lewis RJ, Alewood PF. Discovery, synthesis and structure-activity relationships of conotoxins. Chemical Reviews, 2014; 114:5815−5847. *co-first author (IF=45.8, Top 1% of Category)​​

Muttenthaler M, Dutertre S, Wingerd JS, Aini JW, Walton H, Alewood PF, Lewis RJ. Abundance and diversity of Conus species (Gastropoda: Conidae) at the northern tip of New Ireland province of Papua New Guinea. Nautilus, 2012; 126-2: 47-56. (IF=0.4)​

Muttenthaler M, Akondi Kalyana B, Alewood PF. Structure-activity studies on alpha-conotoxins. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 2011; 17: 4226-4241. (IF=3.7, Top 25% of Category)​​​

Muttenthaler M, Nevin ST, Grishin AA, Ngo ST, Choy PT, Daly NL, Hu S-H, Armishaw CJ, C. I. A. Wang, R. J. Lewis, Martin JL, Noakes PG, Craik DJ, Adams DJ, Alewood PF. Solving the alpha-conotoxin folding problem – selenium-directed on-resin folding of potent and stable nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonists. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2010; 132: 3514-3522. Featured in C&E News. (IF=10.2, Top 5% of Category)​​​

Grishin AA, Muttenthaler M, Alewood PF, Adams DJ. α-Conotoxin AuIB isomers exhibit distinct inhibitory mechanisms and differential sensitivity to stoichiometry of α3β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2010; 285: 22254-22263. (IF=5.0, Top 25% of Category)​

Dutertre S, Croker D, Daly NL, Andersson A, Muttenthaler M, Lumsden NG, Craik DJ, Alewood PF, Guillon G and Lewis RJ. Conopressin-T from Conus tulipa reveals an antagonist switch in vasopressin-like peptides. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2008; 283: 7100-7108. (IF=3.7, Top 25% of Category)​

Peptide Chemistry

Breger JC#, Muttenthaler M#, Delehanty JB, Thompson D, Oh E, Susumu K, Deschamps JR, Anderson GP, Field LD, Walper SA, Dawson PE, Medintz IL. 

Nanoparticle Cellular Uptake by Dendritic Wedge Peptides: Achieving Single Peptide Facilitated Delivery.  Nanoscale, 2017; 9(29):10447. (IF=7.8, Top 5% of Journal Category)

Wan J, Mobli M, Brust A, Muttenthaler M, Andersson A, Ragnarsson L, Castro J, Vetter I, Huang JX, Nilsson M, Brierley SM, Cooper MA, Lewis RJ, Alewood PF. Synthesis of Multivalent [Lys8]-Oxytocin Dendrimers that Inhibit Visceral Nociceptive Responses. Australian Journal of Chemistry, 2016, 70(2): 162-171. (IF=1.5)​

Muttenthaler M, Albericio F, Dawson PE. Hydrogen fluoride cleavage for Boc solid phase peptide synthesis – methods, setup and safety. Nature Protocols, 2015; 10(7):1067-83. (IF=9.7, Top 5% of Category)

Gemmill KB*, Muttenthaler M*, Delehanty JB, Stewart MH, Susumu K, Dawson PE, Medintz IL. Evaluation of diverse peptidyl motifs for cellular delivery of semiconductor quantum dots. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 2013; 405(19): 6145-54. *co-first author (IF=3.8, Top 15% of Category)​

Mobli M, Morgenstern D, King GF, Alewood PF, Muttenthaler M. Site-specific pKa determination of selenocysteine residues in selenovasopressin by using 77Se NMR spectroscopy. Angewandte Chemie, International Edition, 2011; 50: 11952-11955. (IF=13.6, Top 5% of Category)​

Muttenthaler M, Dantas de Araujo A, Andersson A, Dekan Z, Lewis RJ, Alewood PF. Modulating oxytocin activity and plasma stability by disulfide bond engineering. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2010; 53: 8585-8596. (IF=5.4, Top 5% of Category)​

Muttenthaler M, Ramos YG, Feytens D, Dantas de Araujo A, Alewood PF. p-Nitrobenzyl protection for cysteine and selenocysteine: A more stable alternative to the acetamidomethyl group. Biopolymers 2010; 94: 423-432. (IF=2.7)​

Muttenthaler M, Alewood PF.  Selenopeptide chemistry. Journal of Peptide Science, 2008; 14: 1223-39. (IF=1.8)